Charles Sturt University’s netballers will have to overcome the only team to beat them in the home-and-away season if they’re to return to the Farrer League A grade grand final.
The Bushsows dropped just one game during the regular season, going down to Temora by 11 goals in July, on their way to the minor premiership.
But after losing to reigning premiers The Rock-Yerong Creek (39-44) in last week’s second semi-final, CSU now face the Kangaroos in Saturday’s preliminary final at Robertson Oval with their season on the line.
“Obviously (losing to Temora last time) is in the back of your mind but I think we’ve prepared well and it’s a matter of going out there and putting it together on the court,” captain Sarah Hooper said.
Jordan Barrett has been the key to Temora’s big season and Hooper said limiting her influence will be a major focus.
Ashleigh O’Leary, who won the rising star award after overcoming two knee reconstructions, will have a big role while Hooper said their coach, Kirsty Lowe, at wing attack is also critical to their game.
“But I think it’s going to need an all-round effort, for everyone to really go hard at it and hopefully get the win,” Hooper said.
It’s been a season of revival for CSU who missed finals last year, having won two of the previous three premierships (2014 and 2016).
Hooper believes a break leading into last week’s semi-final against TRYC wasn’t ideal and they’re hopeful of getting another shot at the Magpies on grand final day.
“Coming off a week off probably didn’t help much but The Rock really came out well and showed they’re the team to beat,” Hooper said.
“They’ve been working hard and definitely improved since last time we played them. But I think we’ve got the ability to do it.”
It would cap off a fine season for CSU which this week was awarded its first ever Farrer League club championship.
“That was very exciting,” Hooper said.
“And it’s every girl’s dream to come out and play on grand final day and we’ve already got two teams in, B grade and A reserve, so it would definitely top it off to be there in A grade. It would be great.”